Social media opportunism: how Oreo shone at the Super Bowl

Social media opportunism: how Oreo shone at the Super Bowl

Emma Brown

Emma Brown

If, like me, you shunned staying up to watch last night’s Super Bowl in favour of a good night’s sleep,  you may well have shared my bemusement this morning upon logging into Twitter to get the low-down on the game. Expecting to see my feed dominated by commentary on the score, the players, perhaps Beyoncé’s half-time performance, it came as something of a surprise to find that most, in fact, (certainly of those whom I follow) were talking about a biscuit!

Turns out that Oreo had taken advantage of an unexpected black-out early in the third quarter of the game, tweeting an ad captioned “Power out? No problem” within the hour.


Since retweeted over 14,000 times, the post garnered Oreo instant attention across social networks, making it one of the most talked-about brands of the night. With TV ad spots during the game being sold by CBS for between about £.24 – 2.5 million, it’s almost painfully ironic (at least to other the brands competing for attention!) that, as BuzzFeed points out – “the most powerful bit of marketing during the advertising industry’s most expensive day may have been free”!

So what can be learnt from Oreo’s success?

First and foremost, it’s the perfect example of the need for rapid turnaround in order to capitalise on these sorts of opportunities. “Wow already? Well done!” says one user in response to the ad, while another refers to the ad as “Social media rapid response at its finest.”

What’s more, in a week where the use of social media for large corporations has come into question (I’m looking at you, HMV!) it’s another, extremely slick, demonstration of the power of digital when done right.

I for one am planning on staying awake next Super Bowl – if not for the sport itself, then certainly to see how others will be looking to emulate Oreo’s social success.

This post was written by Emma Brown.

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  1. That’s a rather cynical view! I doubt it – shouldn’t think power cuts rank particularly high on the probability scale when prepping for these sorts of things! 

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